The highly anticipated first look has quickly become a popular moment to capture on the wedding day prior to the wedding ceremony, but is it for you? Some couples choose to stick with tradition and avoid seeing each other until the bride walks down the aisle during the ceremony whereas others want to see each other throughout the day. What are some things you should consider when making the decision to do a first look or not?
Photograph by Katie Jo Photography
Talk to your significant other and find out what they have always envisioned happening.
Many wedding day decisions fall upon the bride, but this is one that should be discussed between the couple prior to making any major decisions. Sit down and have a conversation with your spouse-to-be. What does he/she want? Would they feel more comfortable being together before the wedding? Have they always pictured seeing you for the first time as you walk down the aisle? Make sure you both express how you feel because chances are you both have some expectations of how this moment will unfold.
If you decide to do a first look, do you want it to be captured by your photographer? If so, be sure to schedule the first look in your wedding day timeline! An added bonus of doing a first look is it allows for you to get to the reception sooner. Once you have seen each other you can complete the family, couple, and bridal party photos before the ceremony. Just discuss the timeline with your photographer and find what works best for you! If you decide to skip the first look, you will have to block out some additional time between the ceremony and the reception for wedding photos. If you decide to take this route, be sure there is something for your guests to do during this downtime (i.e., cocktail hour).
Some other things to consider
Are you (or your significant other) the type of person that gets nervous easily? If so, it might be calming for you to be able to be with your significant other prior to the ceremony. When you do the first look you can spend time together. Many couples state that they couldnt imagine not being able to see their significant other for any amount of time on the wedding day.
On the other hand, have you seen those emotional photos of the groom when he first sees his bride walking down the aisle?! If not, weve added a great example below. This moment is so special, and many grooms look forward to that breathtaking moment of seeing their bride walk down the aisle to them. Again, discuss these options with your significant other and find out what works best for you!
And finally, maybe the greatest compromise idea of all!
I think my close friend had the best idea Ive ever heard of! She wanted to recreate the suspense of walking down the aisle to her hubby-to-be, but she wanted to be able to see him prior to the ceremony and to spend time together throughout the day. So what did they do? She had her fiancé stand at the end of the aisle at the church, and she walked down the aisle to him as their first look moment. It was just the two of them in the sanctuary, and they got to share that special moment together. In fact, they didnt even take pictures of it! How special that it is truly a memory just between them!? I love that she thought of a way to combine both the first look and that moment of first walking down the aisle to your fiancé!
Ultimately, there is no right or wrong way to go about this moment on your wedding day. Sit down with your fiancé, look at your wedding day timeline, and make the decision that feels right to the two of you!
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